Sep 26, 2011

Israel FDC on "Festivals 2011 - The Rosh Hashanah Feast"

First Day Cover
Sobrescrito de 1.º Dia


Festivals 2011 - The Rosh Hashanah Feast

Date of Issue : 13 September 2011

The Rosh Hashanah feast includes various types of food that serve as symbols of the New Year holiday.
The inclusion of foods with symbolic meaning in the Rosh Hashanah feast is an ancient tradition, the roots of which may be found in the writings of the Sages. The Babylonian Talmud (Tractate Kritot, page 6a) says, “Abaye said, ‘… at the beginning of every year a person should accustom himself to eat gourds, fenugreek, leeks, beets and dates’”. Along with these foods, the holiday table is also filled with foods whose natural characteristics serve as festive symbols of the good wishes for the New Year:

1.7 NIS : Apple and Honey
One takes a slice of sweet apple and dips it in honey, reciting: “May it be Your will… that we should have a good and sweet new year”.

4 NIS : Fish Head
One eats a piece of a fish head, saying: “May it be Your will… that we should be the head and not the tail”. It is customary to recite additional blessings based on the characteristics of fish, such as “we should multiply as fish” or “that You should watch over us with the open eye of a fish” (fish do not have eyelids so their eyes are always open).
Among some ethnic groups it is customary to eat a piece of a sheep or ram head, rather than that of a fish, reciting the blessing “and remember the ram of Isaac”, alluding to the ram that was sacrificed in lieu of Isaac.

5.9 NIS : Pomegranate
When eating pomegranate seeds one recites the blessing: “May it be Your will… that our merits should increase like (the seeds of) a pomegranate”. The Talmudic legend notes that each pomegranate fruit has 613 seeds, as the number of mitzvoth (commandments), equating the People of Israel, who are full of mitzvoth, to the pomegranate fruit.

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